The Highlands, Madonna & ME!
Released On 16th Jul 2017
I know Scotland does regularly feature in my musings, but this is primarily because of my “heritage”. For full background please refer to August 2016 blog where I reveal the details of my grandmother’s secret love and therein my father’s name sake.
So, this week has seen me sailing up the A9 again and as always, coming back armed with a reinforced love of all things Gaelic.
A diverse week, I had several key appointments building the Owen Barry brand. I followed in the footsteps of Madonna & Guy Ritchie to venues so exclusive it is impossible to even find the entrance without prior instruction, but undoubtedly worth it when you do!
Once, again, I drove part of the North Coast 500, in true Clarkson style (i.e. fast).
En route, meeting with one of our established OB ambassadors, Janice from Embrace at Strathpeffer. Janice is a fantastic, really lovely interesting lady, who offers the full OB bespoke service to both locals, tourists and NC 500 drivers from all over the globe.
For those of you Southern Jessies who perhaps don’t know, the North Coast 500 is recognised as one of the top 10 most beautiful coastal driving circuits in the world – think Route 66 or look it up and I guarantee you'll want to do it.
NC 500 follows a 500-mile route around the top of Scotland encompassing Wester Ross, Durness, John o Groats and Inverness.
Brett and I , plus all 3 grown up kids (Chas, Jack & Mack) have done it, in stages, several times, it is absolutely stunning and in places, single track, very bendy, very hilly and very hair raising.
One time, I recall, we had good intentions of actually completing the circuit, only for Brett and I to get locked in the bedroom of our hotel, much to the kids (23 thru 28 yrs!!) amusement; our door key wouldn’t & couldn’t be persuaded to work.
After much key trying, a handy man was appointed to smash down our door – I would point out he was a bit of a thug and seemed to relish the task. Why, as Brett pointed out, they didn’t unscrew and dismantle the lock is still a mystery.
So, with an audience of assembled other guests, the incredible hulk set to with a sledge hammer. Bless his heart, I think it was only after the third or fourth pretty ineffectual blow did the penny drop, he was trying to smash through a fire door!
But, by now pride was at stake, guests were trapped (although we were not in any danger) and an expectant audience was waiting for the big release so he had to carry on.
What seemed like an age later, Brett was able to re-enact his Jack Nicholson, with the famous “Here’s Johnny” line and we were set free and made our way triumphant to breakfast!
Poor Lou Ferrigno sloped away for oxygen and a sharp reprimand ! When we checked out the receptionist frustratingly advised that due to their remoteness a replacement door would be up to a week in arrival and they were fully booked this evening - we left pronto!
Anyway, back to Janice at Strathpeffer, she would be thrilled to meet you. Embrace is most conveniently situated on the virtual start/finish route of the NC 500, an ideal location for the Owen Barry Bespoke Service.
All we have to do now is check the dimensions of our overnight bag, we know it fits perfectly into an aircraft carry on hold. We now have to be sure that it will easily accommodated in the luggage storage space of an elite sports car.
But as always, all over it like a rash, and as you may be aware we have despatched Team OB to Silverstone this weekend armed with an overnighter and strict instructions to check out both the MacClaren and Mercedes.
Be sure to watch the pit lane closely on Sunday as Cazzer and Rick will be in stealth mode with that endeavour firmly in hand. OB putting customer service first.